Skip to body


College of the Sciences
Give to Geography

Contact Us

Department of Geography
Dean Hall 301
(509) 963-1188

Sterling Quinn

Dean Hall 307
Phone (509) 963- 1186


Dr. Sterling Quinn studies the ways that digital maps are created and used by society, with a special interest in crowdsourced maps such as OpenStreetMap. He teaches a variety of geography courses at CWU touching the themes of GIS, cartography, Latin America, and world issues.

Dr. Quinn’s research has examined the makeup and motives of the online “crowd” behind crowdsourced maps such as OpenStreetMap. He is also interested in cartographic selection, specifically investigating blank spots on the map, what is happening in those places, and how visible they are to passers-by.

Dr. Quinn serves on various thesis committees, and is welcoming graduate student applicants in the Cultural and Environmental Resource Management master’s program who would like to apply GIS methods toward addressing resource management issues. 

Prior to coming to CWU, Dr. Quinn taught numerous courses in the Penn State University online geospatial programs. In 2015 he received the GeoForAll Global Educator of the Year Award for his work authoring the online course Open Web Mapping. He is also an alumnus of the Summer Doctoral Programme at the Oxford Internet Institute. Prior to his full-time academic career, Dr. Quinn worked as a GIS software product engineer at Esri, specializing in web mapping technologies.

Dr. Quinn holds a PhD in geography from Penn State University (2016), an MGIS from Penn State (2009), and a BS in GIS from Brigham Young University (2005). His full CV and list of publications are visible at

Take the Next Step to Becoming a Wildcat.